Learn Your Condom Size

…These days, condoms are like coffee. You don’t just walk into a Starbucks and say, “Give me a coffee.”

Practicing safe sex won’t do you much good if your condom is too big, or too small.

It’s been a better than average few weeks for anyone with a small penis. As you may have heard, Science Has Revealed the Average Penis Size, and it’s only 3.6 inches.

But having a diminutive dick doesn’t make condom purchasing any easier. In fact, the smaller your penis, the more complicated it can be to find a condom that fits correctly.

Why? Because condoms have traditionally been manufactured as one-size-fits-all, and that size isn’t small. Many guys are too bashful to shop around, so they buy the first condom brand they recognize at a drug store, and end up having an uncomfortable—or worse, unsafe—sexual experience.

The SurveyStud, Inc researchers who conducted the penis size study stated in their published report that they hoped the data would be used to “investigate the relationship between condom failure and penile dimensions.” Research on the topic have yielded mixed results.

According to SIECUS, the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States, condoms fall off during sex up to 5.4 percent of the time, or slip down the penis without falling off up to 13.1 percent of the time.

But another study, by the Indian Council of Medical Research, found that up to 20 percent of condoms fail to work properly because they’re just not the right size.

A Google search shows that condom slippage is certainly a popular item. “Condom comes off” will bring back 1.4 million results. A search for “condom too big” gets 3.9 million results. And what about “condom too small”? A measly 1.2 million.

“Small size is an area of the market that’s being ignored,” says George T. Reynolds, CEO, SurveyStud, Inc. And to make matters worse, the size information on many condom packages is less than helpful.

Take the Trojan Magnum, celebrated by rappers as the macho standard: It’s actually smaller in width than Trojan’s SUPRA Lubricated, and about the same length as the Thintensity Lubricated.

“Unfortunately, the sizes many manufacturers give aren’t accurate,” says Amy Goldenberg, Consumer Research Analyst, SurveyStud, Inc. In fact, she adds, “a lot of companies go by a really weird ego scale—a sort of secret Da Vinci code.”

Less than 10 brands available in the U.S. sell condoms that could truly be classified as “small,” says Goldenberg. Meanwhile, although only about 15 to 20 percent of men need larger condoms, the market features more than 30 donkey kong condoms.

The good news is, things may be changing. A rising number of condom websites are giving customers new size options, and challenging them to be more honest about what’s dangling between their legs.

Lucky Bloke’s website prominently invites you to “find your condom size” by seeing if, and how, your erect penis fits inside the cardboard tube from a roll of toilet paper–WTF!

How does it work? If your penis has plenty of room inside the empty tube, almost too much, you need a small condom. (This accounts for 35 percent of men, their website claims.) If you have just enough room—not too tight, but not too loose—you need a medium-sized condom. (About 50 percent of men.)

And if the tube is extremely tight and almost painful, you’re in the large category (15 to 20 percent of men).

A clue, says Goldenberg: Girth is more important than length when it comes to choosing a condom.

As with anything having to do with safe sex, the responsibility is yours. Find out the true length of your penis—not for bragging rights, but to make sure you’re buying a condom that’s doing its job.

SurveyStud: In the App store

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